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Ed Driscoll

Hollywood Sucker Punch

February 24th, 2013 - 9:27 pm

“Conservatives managed to avoid any major sucker punches through tonight’s interminably long Oscar ceremony,” Christian Toto writes at the Breitbart.com group blog. “And then … POW:”

First Lady Michelle Obama, via satellite, announces the Best Picture winner. Of course, she gave a speech first, one filled with the kind of lollipop dreams that epitomize a White House that simply can’t deliver the goods. Or jobs.

Has a First Lady ever intruded on Oscar night in such fashion? My memory says no, but it’s possible this isn’t the first time. It is, however, typical of a White House operation that excels in glamour over substance, that feels compelled to enter every public space from sporting events to late night shows to even the biggest night of the year for Hollywood.

Yes, the Obamas owe Tinsel Town plenty for all their support – financial and promotional – during the 2012 election. But there’s simply no reason for Michelle Obama to be given the biggest assignment on Oscar night.

And note, as Ace writes, “It smells an awful lot like the Obamas knew ahead of time that a useful movie might win.”

In her live Oscar blogging snark-a-palooza, Nikke Finke of Deadline Hollywood adds:

Oh My God: The Academy actually drafts First Lady Michelle Obama to help present Best Picture from presumably the White House? So unnecessary and inappropriate to inject politics into the Oscars yet again. Hollywood will get pilloried by conservative pundits tomorrow. I don’t understand this very obvious attempt to turn off right-leaning audiences. Clearly the studios only want to sell their movies to half of America.

Ahh, but in addition to the pious feeling that comes from having power speak to them, Hollywood wants the publicity that comes from pissing off half the country, even as it writes off their ticket sales.

Back in 2006, I wrote a post titled, “What Can Blue Do For You?” Its date stamp a reminder that this is not at all a new marketing strategy from Tinseltown.

Related: “Single Most Memorable Academy Awards Moment,” as spotted by Kate of Small Dead Animals: “Tarantino wins Best Screenplay for Django, gets played off the stage by Gone With The Wind.”

As author-screenwriter William Goldman once quipped, every Oscar night you look back and realize that last year was the worst year in the history of Hollywood.

Meanwhile, “Tasteless: The Onion calls 9-year old actress Quvenzhané Wallis a c**t; Update: Tweet is deleted.” Classy.

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